MSU J-school alumna offers students advice from the field

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Maggie George, a Michigan State University alum, recently shared tips, stories and advice on how she got a full-time job as a political correspondent for Michigan’s Information and Research Service after graduation.

“Journalism is the first draft of history,” George said.

At an early age, George knew she wanted to join politics in some way after her father introduced her to the ins and outs. She fondly recalled a time whereas a child, he brought her to listen to a rally called the “Tea Party.”

“It was outdoors, kind of like this time of year,” George said. “I couldn’t keep up, obviously, with what was going on.

“But I saw a playground, and I was like, hey, dad, what if we went over there?”

During her time at MSU, she credits much of her experience to Capital News Service and the opportunities the J-School offered her. George emphasized that the experience she gained through her schoolwork has benefitted her as a professional journalist.

However, she also explained that publishing clips is what is going to benefit a young journalist most.

“The first thing we do is we jump to the clips, to the experience,” George said. “I don’t look at grade point or if you graduated with honors, I jump right to the experience.”

A way George said to begin a platform for yourself is to actively post on social media. She explained that employers will google you, so an effective way attach your name to journalism is to utilize your social medias.

George suggests to up and coming journalists that curiosity is key within the industry. She says that they key to being a successful young journalist is to constantly ask questions.

“Journalism doesn’t have to be boring,” George said. “It can be fun and interesting.”

George also put emphasis on being creative with journalistic work. She said stories are not always cops, courts, city council meetings and politics.

George said, “If you think it’s interesting other people probably do too.”

As of right now, George is satisfied with calling her political correspondent job her “dream job”. However, she points out that a dream job is subject to change.

“After you do your dream job for a while, you might be like, oh, I have an interest in this other thing that I didn’t have an interest in before,” George said. “Maybe someday I’ll want to get out of subscription journalism and do something that’s more community-based.”

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